R.I.P., Coach Don Shula. 1930-2020

The accolades are flying in on virtually all news networks and sports blogs.   I cannot even keep up.

Rather than cite a long bio here, let’s open it up to your thoughts and your stories/memories about Don Shula.  I know a few younger readers don’t even remember his coaching.  But for us others, what are your thoughts on Shula personally?  His impact?  His coaching style?

We’d love to hear from you all…

 

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10 Comments

  1. I met him once before a game at the old Orange Bowl stadium. I was about 13 years old so yeah it was a while ago. In those days, the players and coaches parked outside the stadium and if you got there early enough you could meet them. I don’t remember saying much and it was just really a chance meeting. I do remember him carrying a brief case and wondering what important papers he must have in there. Anyway it’s too bad we couldn’t win another Super Bowl with him still alive. RIP Mr Shula.

  2. Rest in Peace, Don Shula.
    90 years is a good run, thank you, Coach, for the Dolphin wins and excitement.
    I will state the obvious – a great coach, man and spirit. He was successful with a variety of personnel and coaching strategies. Although the ’72 team was the team that got me hooked for life at the age of seven, my favorite Shula team was the early eighties Superbowl team, with the killer bees and QB David Woodley. A fine piece of coaching Don with that ensemble – Bravo!

  3. Author

    I was at his last game, Dec 30, 1995, in Buffalo. A horrendous Saturday showing by the Dolphins. A playoff loss that the players weren’t motivated for. The rumors were already circulating that H. Wayne wanted to fire Shula and bring in Jimmy Johnson. And after seeing the Dolphins quit that day, I felt awful because I figured that would be his last day. I wasn’t certain that I had seen his last game at the time, but it worked out that way.

  4. Author

    Mark Clayton just called Shula the “Best coach in Heaven.” Cool thought.

  5. Integrity is what I respected the most about Don Shula! I remember the story of one of his players that found the Raiders playbook in the visiting locker room and he presented it to Shula and he told him to “throw it away!” They lost that game, but that lesson meant more than winning! RIP Coach!!!

    1. Author

      LOL, imagine if Belichick had found that book!

      1. Belicheck: “Make copies of that and give it to every coach and player on the team”

        Seriously though, I don’t know that I have much to add, never had the chance to meet him but I did grow up watching him coaching Marino and that offense that was always in every game… he made Dolphins football fun and exciting and though he didn’t get to win the SB while Marino was the QB they were in the fight virtually every season and it made me a fan for life. RIP Don Shula, an amazing coach, and a class act.

  6. So glad I got to see Mr. Shula (in person) – get inducted into the HOF, in Canton. It was my first visit to the HOF, and only visit since. We actually stayed up the night before, and got in line to ensure that we would be in the front row (behind the media rows). This was before they moved to inside fawcett stadium.

    I had a large sign (in fins colors) that read : 347 wins and an Undefeated season, will NEVER be broken.

    Even though I was sweating it out when N.E. nearly went unbeaten that one year (thanks Giants) – that sign still holds true today. And now with the pats roster decimated, 347 wins – may be out of reach for bellicheat (let’s hope)

    BTW – that sign was later signed by Shula at his Shula’s Steakhouse.

    Of course I saw many fins games in person at the old O.B. – and the memories of those games seem much better than those at the new stadium (especially now)

    RIP Donald Francis Shula – the Greatest football coach who ever lived ……..

  7. Author

    I remember in the late 70s, after our Super Bowl runs were over, John Madden complaining about Shula having too much influence and being on the competition committee.
    Then about 10 years later, Buddy Ryan said the same kind of stuff.
    I’m sure Shula had his haters, but in 30+ years of coaching, only 2 crybabies ever spoke up against him, and that shows how classy and professional he was.

  8. The best years for me was him coaching Marino, Clayton and Duper. We would’ve been a dynasty with that trio if only we could’ve gotten a good running back.

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